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Emma Sulkowicz debuts a new art project, 'Ceci N'est Pas Un Viol'

Emma Sulkowicz carries a mattress in protest of

Emma Sulkowicz carries a mattress in protest of Columbia University's lack of action after she reported being raped during her sophomore year on September 5, 2014 in New York City. Photo Credit: Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Recent Columbia graduate Emma Sulkowicz made headlines up through her graduation with her year-long performance project, 'Carry that Weight' in which she carried a mattress around the university's campus until after she donned a cap and gown.

Emma Sulkowicz has debuted her first non-mattress (well, kind of) artwork online, after initially creating the video with director Ted Lawson in a Columbia dorm room this past winter break.

The eight-minute video, 'Ceci N'est Pas Un Viol', which translates from French to 'This is not a rape', plays with the title of Rene Magritte's iconic painting of a pipe, entitled 'Ceci ne pas une pipe'.

'Ceci N'est Pas Un Viol', streaming at, is prefaced with a trigger warning and cannot be embedded. As of Friday afternoon, the video has appeared to have problems streaming.

Early viewers of the video have not appeared as supportive of the young artist as with her initial project. Jezebel called the work "a disturbing sex tape" and plenty of online commenters were critical of the piece.

In an interview with Artnet, Sulkowicz explains that she did not want to make the release of the video a big deal and is "interested in what the public does with it."

The artist also aims to expand beyond the first performance piece. "When people call me 'Mattress Girl' I find that really infuriating," Sulkowicz told Artnet. "It's like, okay great, so you think that I'll never progress beyond that point. That I'll be a 'Mattress Girl' rather than a living, breathing person who has the ability to change." 

The living, breathing Sulkowicz captured in the video with an anonymous actor portrays an encounter in which consensual sex turns violent, but is said not to be a re-enactment of a night in August 2012, the one mentioned in Sukowicz's high-profile accusations against classmate Paul Nussenger.

"You might be wondering why I've made myself this vulnerable. LookaI want to change the world, and that begins with you, seeing yourself," Sulkowicz writes on the project's website before the video.


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